We are committed to becoming a sustainable university, building on our teaching, research and operational excellence.

We aim to achieve this by managing the environmental risks and impacts associated with our work. Read more about the actions we are taking, progress we have made and how you can help us to reduce our environmental impacts.


Biodiversity and grounds

Through collaborative management with our grounds contractor, we are increasing conservation areas and farmland bird species on our campus.

The University is also a key partner in a project which aims to improve understanding of how biodiversity supports urban ecosystems and the benefits they provide to society.

Further information can be found on our Biodiversity web page.

Buildings and infrastructure

As the University evolves, Cranfield is committed to ensuring it does so in a sustainable manner. All new buildings and major refurbishments will meet BREEAM Excellence requirements.

In order to support our carbon reduction targets, the University is committed to developing a ‘zero carbon’ standard for University buildings by the end of the 2015 academic year.

Further information can be found on our Sustainable Buildings and Infrastructure web page.

Carbon and energy management

We have set ourselves a challenging target of reducing our carbon emissions, resulting from direct energy and fuel use, by 50% by 2020, which is the most ambitious target in the UK university sector.

We have undergone extensive efficiency improvement projects since 2009 to support this target, as outlined in our Carbon Management Plan.

Further information can be found on our Carbon and Energy Management web page.

Education for sustainable development

Our aim is to ensure our graduates are equipped with the skills, knowledge and experience to make a positive contribution to sustainable development. While several of our programmes directly relate to sustainability, this concept is integral throughout our teaching, and our research project recommendations also include guidelines for sustainability where appropriate so that our influence radiates as far as possible.

Engagement and recognition

Cranfield was delighted to be ‘Highly Commended’ in the 2013 Green Gown Awards for the continuous improvement in environmental credentials made by the University over 2009 -2013. Watch a short film which summarises what we have been doing to reduce our environmental impacts.

We are also committed to engaging staff and students in environmental initiatives both on campus and through supporting those undertaken in the local community.

Further information can be found on our Engagement and Recognition web page.

Environmental policy and governance

We have set a number of ambitious challenging environmental objectives in support of our Environmental Policy and Energy Code of Practice. They are managed through our ISO 14001 certified environmental management system, and through our ISO 150001:2011 certified energy management systems. An overarching board of senior management, supported by the Energy and Environment Team, has responsibility for providing oversight and direction in managing our environmental impacts.

Food and procurement

Cranfield University is proud to have been awarded Fairtrade University status. We are committed to following the Fairtrade principles of better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world.

We are committed to implementing sustainability principles within the procurement process and, from 2016, we will be incorporating sustainability considerations within scoring criteria for all tenders over £250,000.

Further information can be found on our Food and Procurement web page.

Sustainable travel and transport

Since 2012, we have reduced single car occupancy from 70% to 59%. To help us achieve this, we operate various car-share schemes and also support improvements in public transport as outlined in our travel plan.

Further information can be found on our Travel and Transport web page.

Waste and recycling

On average 70% of the waste produced on the Cranfield campus is recycled. Currently this is largely achieved through off-site sorting and recovery with only about 40% of waste segregated on campus. We aim to increase the amount of waste we segregate on campus for recycling to 75% by 2020.

In addition we have a further target of reducing the total quantity of general waste produced on campus by 10% in the same year.

Further information can be found on our Waste and Recycling web page.

Water and discharges

We are committed to reducing our water use by 30% by 2020 from a 2009 baseline.

Our own sewage treatment works manages all the wastewater leaving the Cranfield campus. We have a target to reduce pollutant discharge levels by 50% below individual permit consent levels by 2017.

Further information can be found on our Water and Discharges web page.